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View Diary: Fallows changes a headline. Good move? (105 comments)

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  •  "coup" definition = "sudden" (11+ / 0-)

    Webster's: "a sudden, succcessful move or action."

    as you yourself write: "He's describing a slow process through which a particular political party subverts the legal structures of a country in order put itself in power and consolidate its power."

    That is, in fact, as far as language goes, NOT a coup. because it's not "sudden."

    In the text, fallows writes "long-term coup" -- that's kind of a weird phrase linguistically, but it more accurately describes his thesis.

    "Coup" also implies -- in a political, governing context -- a "coup d'etat." "coup d'etat" is the third definition for "coup" in Webster's.

    Webster's defines "coup d'etat" as "the sudden, forcible otherthrow, as of a ruler."

    certainly "coup d'etat" is always used in connection with military force.

    Fallows is not writing about a "coup d'etat" or a "coup." He is writing about "a slow process." He used the wrong word. If he wants readers to think about his thesis instead of getting stuck in, wait a minute, a coup d'etat means the army has suddenly taken over, it was the right move to change it.

    Thanks for posting.

    •  This is a sophisticated variant of fascism (7+ / 0-)

      It doesn't look like what we think of as classical fascism because it isn't festooned with uniforms and blackshirts marching in the street. But it's a process by which the parliament is de-legitimized by the obstructionist actions of the fascist party, the courts collude in undermining the democratic process and the police and security agencies engage in increasingly repressive and violent measures against dissenters. Meanwhile, an apparatus of "emergency 'laws" are enacted that in essence suspend the Bill of Rights.

      The ability of the corporations to use their money to buy the political process is enhanced. Along with that, countervailing social forces have their political power stripped through voter suppression schemes and disenfranchisement aimed at minorities and legislative and court assaults on the ability of labor unions to act politically.

      Unfortunately, the Democratic Party faces this like a deer in the headlights or, worse, colludes in the hollowing out of democracy.

      •  ...the neo-fascist fifth column (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, WheninRome

        "The basic definition of fascism is when corporations
                                                     take over the government."
        - Jesse Ventura
        (and what better way than to have some treasonous judges make them people)

        ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

        by joe wobblie on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 01:40:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ventura was quoting Mussolini (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joe wobblie

          so that is spot on.

          Busting the Dog Whistle code.

          by Mokurai on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 04:35:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Il Duce & his "Chamber of Fasci and Corporations" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

             Jesse Ventura's quote was of course only a generalization.
            Mussolini perceived himself as a contemporary Roman Emporer, and assuming  the title of "IL Duce", set about to establish a new Italian Empire.
            His true goal was the creation of a totalitarian police state.
            His governing body of Italy was the "Chamber of Fasci and Corporations".
            Those actually seated in it were the direct representatives of the major corporations involved in the trade and industry of Italy.  In such manner
          Benito fulfilled his vow of enacting a complete corporativist system.
            And so our modern day 'little Benito' neo-fascists are buying our congress
          seat by seat to create, "The Fascist States of America".
                                                 Duce!    Duce!     Duce!

          ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

          by joe wobblie on Mon Jun 25, 2012 at 07:39:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see this has much to do with my (0+ / 0-)

        comment about the meaning of the word "coup" -- I do think, as Howard Zinn said, ""If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something."

        And also: we've had your diagnosis for 40, 50 years now: I'm not all that interested in the continuing refinement of rhetoric (within the bubble, preaching to the choir) describing the problem. it's kind of a bore. I'm more interested in "doing something."

        Wrap it up all nice and neat, write off "The Democratic Party," as if it was some monolith, and members of the progressive caucus are the same as the conservadems, and what do you have? A nice hand of 'ain't it awful," but not much else.

    •  it's useful because it doesn't exactly match (5+ / 0-)

      part of the nature of this subversion of our democracy is that it happens in such a way that people don't recognize it for what it is. we have a word - coup - and a popular understanding of what it means for the government it overthrows, but since there are no tanks in the street, we fail to recognize it as such. especially because we have such a strong sense of "it can't happen here" woven into the public psyche.

      using the blunt word coup startles the reader, and opens up a space where they might reconsider what is happening as a coup, but slower. first, you have to get their attention, and make such a thing thinkable.

      it was a well chosen word IMO. grab eyeballs with the headline, explain in the text.

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